The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child Her American Doctors and the Collision of Two Cultures Hardcover – Import 30 Sep 1997

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Product Description Amazon.com Review Lia Lee was born in 1981 to a family of recent Hmong immigrants and soon developed symptoms of epilepsy. By 1988 she was living at home but was brain dead after a tragic cycle of misunderstanding overmedication and culture clash: "What the doctors viewed as clinical efficiency the Hmong viewed as frosty arrogance." The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down is a tragedy of Shakespearean dimensions written with the deepest of human feeling. Sherwin Nuland said of the account "There are no villains in Fadiman's tale just as there are no heroes. People are presented as she saw them in their humility and their frailty--and their nobility." Review "Ms. Fadiman tells her story with a novelist's grace playing the role of cultural broker comprehending those who do not comprehend each other and perceiving what might have been done or said to make the outcome different."--Richard Berstein The New York Times "So good I want to somehow make it required reading... The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down explores issues of culture immigration medicine and the war in [Laos] with such skill that it's nearly impossible to put down."--Linnea Lannon The Detroit Free Press "This is a captivating riveting book--a must-read not only for medical professionals anthropologists and journalists but for anyone interested in how to negotiate cultural difference in a shrinking world. Fadiman's ability to empathize with the resolutely independent Hmong as well as with the remarkable doctors caseworkers and officials of Merced County makes her narrative both richly textured and deeply illuminating. Sometimes the stakes here are multicultural harmony and understanding; sometimes they're literally life and death--whether in wartime Laos or in American emergency rooms. But whatever the stakes and wherever the setting Fadiman's reporting is meticulous and prose is a delight. From start to finish a truly impressive achievement."--Michael Berube author of Life As We Know It See all Product Description

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